Top 10 Ethically Sourced Holiday Chocolate Companies

Be it Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, or just for kicks, this time of year can be hectic when shopping for ethically sourced candy brands based on its impact. Luckily, Ethicli has some recommendations!

With large gatherings on the decline for this year, you can now treat yourself to some ethically made sweets with the extra money you’ll be saving… Our biggest recommendation as we kick off the holiday season is to avoid Nestle products such as Butterfinger, Crunch, Laffy Taffy, Kit Kat, and Wonka. They are our lowest-scored brand at a 1.0, which Ethicli will break down.

Nestle Rating Breakdown

Environment:

  • Responsible for mass deforestation to source cocoa and palm oil
  • Destroys streams, aquifers and wildlife
  • 3rd largest plastic polluter

Animal Welfare:

  • Tests on animals

Labor Rights:

  • Fails to stop child labor and Brazilian slave labor in their fields
  • Scores an 11.8/100 on their supply chain practices in Chinese factories
  • One of the worst corporate perpetrators of human rights & labor violations

Social Involvement:

  • Continuously breaches international marketing standards
  • Undermines local control of water supplies in communities
  • Stakes excessive claims to community water resources
  • Forces community dependence on bottled water
  • Experimented their baby formula on 75 premature babies in India
  • Targeted breastfeeding women to depend on their baby formula
  • Pays $200/year to pump fresh water out of Flint, Michigan while its citizens still have no access to clean water
  • Has not addressed the nanoparticles in their baby formula, which can bioaccumulate in children from infancy and pose a threat to human health
  • Target of the world’s longest running boycott

Unfortunately, these points are only the beginning of how Nestle has taken advantage of communities and the planet. However now is a great time to take the #NestlePledge to not purchase any of their products yourself. Below is an infographic to show some of their other popular brands.

So how can we avoid Nestlé?

Their company ethics may be concerning to say the least, but with so much extra time at home, it’s a perfect time to try your hand at making some home-made sweets! How about these Vegan Citrus Chocolate Truffles, or using your leftover pumpkin seeds to make this Pumpkin Seed Brittle? You may be surprised how easy it can be to make sweets from home!

Note: Ethicli may receive commissions from purchases made through links on this article. We will not put any affiliate link on our blog that we have not scored and truly recommend.

Ethical Chocolate and Candy Alternatives

Oof, is the idea of DIY candy not your style? Then here are some alternatives with our ethical shopping partner Uncommon Goods that are sure to satisfy your sweet-tooth, and they’re so nice they’re even gift-able to a friend! Or, if you cannot find a locally-made bakery, candy maker or chocolatier, ethical options may be available at your local grocers. If you’re shopping in person, look for these labels: Fair-Trade, Rainforest Alliance, RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, & Certified Organic to ensure that ethical steps are being taken to care for our workers, planet and animals involved in the process. Here at Ethicli we put together a non-exhaustive list of 10 of our favorite ethically sourced chocolate companies.

  1. Endangered Species (9.0):
  • 2019 Impact Report transparent and available publicly on their website
  • Backed by Slave Free Chocolate as safe from child labor
  • Scores an A rating on Green America’s 2019 Chocolate Scorecard
  • Donate 10% of profits to animals, habitat and humanity
  • Most of their chocolate bars are labeled certified vegan.
  • FairTrade Certified cocoa
  • NonGMO Project Verified
  • Does not use palm oil
  • Fully traceable

2. Alter Eco (8.7):

  • Backed by Slave Free Chocolate as ethical cocoa safe from child labor
  • 2019 Sustainability Report publicly available on their website
  • Scores an A rating on Green America’s 2019 Chocolate Scorecard
  • Use grass-fed milk, but does sell plant-based items
  • FairTrade Certified cocoa
  • Compostable packaging
  • Does not use palm oil
  • BCorp certified
  • Fully traceable
  • Organic

3. Theo Chocolate (8.3):

  • Gives farmers a stable price to circumvent the volatility of the cocoa market
  • Incentivizes farmers to maintain a quality crop and support their families
  • Backed by Slave Free Chocolate as ethical cocoa safe from child labor
  • Scores an A rating on Green America’s 2019 Chocolate Scorecard
  • Use dairy in their products, but offers vegan chocolate varieties
  • Transparently shows their 2019 Impact Report
  • Certified Organic and Fair For Life
  • Fully traceable

4. Justin’s (8.2):

  • Partner with the Xerces Society and People & Pollinators Action Network
  • Uses either 100% organic sustainable palm oil or RSPO certified palm oil
  • Transparent with their palm oil sourcing practices on their website
  • Uses wind power in their manufacturing practices
  • Their peanut butter cups are FairTrade certified
  • Rainforest Alliance certified
  • Non GMO Project certified

5. Tony’s Chocolonely (8.1):

  • Has a business model that prioritizes 0% profit in favor of social impact
  • Backed by Slave Free Chocolate as ethical cocoa safe from child labor
  • Offsets their Carbon footprint through the JustDiggit project
  • Does use dairy in their chocolate
  • FairTrade Certified cocoa
  • Recyclable packaging

6. Divine (8.0):

  • Backed by Slave Free Chocolate as ethical cocoa safe from child labor
  • Scores an A rating on Green America’s 2019 Chocolate Scorecard
  • Committed to empowering cocoa farmers in Ghana
  • Non GMO Project certified
  • Does not use palm oil
  • FairTrade cocoa
  • Fully traceable

7. Equal Exchange (8.0):

  • Backed by Slave Free Chocolate as ethical cocoa safe from child labor
  • Scores an A rating on Green America’s 2019 Chocolate Scorecard
  • Worker-owned cooperative
  • FairTrade cocoa
  • Fully traceable

8. Ocho (8.0):

  • Certified Organic
  • Certified FairTrade
  • Certified Vegan
  • Certified CCOF

9. Lake Champlain (8.0):

  • FairTrade Certified
  • BCorp Certified

10. UNREAL (7.3):

  • Uses FairTrade ingredients
  • NonGMO Project certified

What did we miss? Comment and share with us what your favorite ethical sweets brands are! Also, be sure to check out Ethicli’s browser extension to see even more company ratings all year long.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and that these sweet options from Ethicli take the worries out of your holiday consumption! 🦃🎄

Ethicli is a free browser extension that makes ethical shopping easier by providing you with company ethics info and ethical product suggestions. To learn more or download, check us out at ethicli.com.

Ethicli is a browser extension that helps you make more ethical shopping choices.

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